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Old 09-02-2019, 03:36 PM   #1
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Dow Froth-Pak Spray Foam Installation

Applied the Dow Froth-Pak 620 board foot closed cell spray foam kit (~$700 on eBay) to the ceiling, nose, tail, and wheel wells of Comfort Eagle today.

After some initial folly, it went on pretty well. Unfortunately, due to that initial folly and a few other issues, I ran out of foam before achieving the depth of coverage I was seeking.

Three issues impacted my coverage:

Impact #1) Rick's Folly - I blew three nozzles off the gun before I got my act together. Shame on me... Two of the three nozzles were "probably" installed upside down, and I inadvertently jettisoned the third nozzle by accidentally hitting the release. This operator error was further compounded by the fact that I continued to spray (for a short time) before I realized the nozzle was missing.

Lessons Learned:
a) Check and recheck the orientation of the nozzles when installing. "In the fog of war" with the clock ticking, and all the PPE gear on, it's not hard get it wrong...

b) Be sure to look for and be able to recognize the difference in the colors of a "good mix" and something else. Early recognition of a "non-standard mix" will save material and heartache...

Impact #2) Mission Requirements - Filling the nose of the bus with foam - I used a bunch of foam filling the nose of the bus (up high) with foam. On the Gillig, there was nothing up there but fiberglass, metal, and air. I FILLED it with foam. I did it on purpose and methodically; it just took a lot of foam.

Impact #3) Equipment Malfunction? - I ran out of Part B (hardener?) well before Part A was empty. The white Part B canister was weeping (leaking?) product at the hose to canister connection point as soon as I opened the valve. I checked tightness of the hose connection with the supplied wrench and it was tight... I could have aborted, but I chose to continue with the mission...

A few pics of the before and after are below. I am probably going to order a 200 board foot kit to finish the job...











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Old 09-03-2019, 04:05 AM   #2
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Thank you for the post ... and especially the lessons learned. Lots to consider when doing the spray foam as a DIY!
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:02 AM   #3
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...Lots to consider when doing the spray foam as a DIY!
For sure; I had never done spray foam before this, and I tried to "do my homework" in terms of application, but it was still a stressful and messy job. I ordered another 200bf kit this morning; I am eager to complete the job. It will be nice to not have condensation dripping from my ceiling in the morning anymore.

Here's a fun pic; I definitely put some serious foam up there...
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Old 09-03-2019, 11:58 AM   #4
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I admire your DIY attitude and courage! Spray foam is our plan, but we've already decided to let a pro do the job. From everything I've read, the learning curve appears to be a bit steep to get best results on your first (and for most of us - only) attempt. andNot knocking your job in the least... I think you did EXTREMELY well for your first time. Maybe some extra trimming, but it looks like you'll get what you wanted in the end.

I'm curious though - knowing what you know now - would you do it again yourself? Or hire it out?
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:02 PM   #5
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I admire your DIY attitude and courage! Spray foam is our plan, but we've already decided to let a pro do the job. From everything I've read, the learning curve appears to be a bit steep to get best results on your first (and for most of us - only) attempt. andNot knocking your job in the least... I think you did EXTREMELY well for your first time. Maybe some extra trimming, but it looks like you'll get what you wanted in the end.

I'm curious though - knowing what you know now - would you do it again yourself? Or hire it out?
Thank you for your comments. I agree that this is not a job for the faint of heart. It was/is a scary proposition: as you said most of us only get one chance to get it right. And getting it wrong could be super messy, expensive, and time consuming.

In terms of the "knowing what you know now question" I would absolutely do it again. As with skoolie building, we all know it only one build to become a skoolie building expert... In fact hopefully I will get to do it again this weekend when my 200bf kit shows up. I also plan to do some "strategic foaming" under the bus at some future date.

In my opinion, the actual application of the foam is not much more technically difficult than spray painting something; it's that the stakes are much higher. Multiple light coats with the fan nozzle really were pretty easy.

As for "extra trimming" I guarantee I will have less trimming to do than my friend Justin had to do after his "professional application":


And definitely less trimming than the DIY application by Skoolie Foolies:
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:04 PM   #6
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Thanks for the response. Really appreciate your perspective!

Still going to farm this one out - you've got more guts than I do. I sure hope our 'professional' is a bit more professional than the one in the first vid above!
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Old 09-04-2019, 12:07 AM   #7
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Well done sir. I was just researching the froth packs and am glad that you tried them out. I think I will be doing the spray foam myself as well. Did you have any pockets that you filled? If so did the foam distort the metal at all?

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Old 09-04-2019, 02:37 AM   #8
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Romex in Foam

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Originally Posted by ComfortEagle View Post
Thank you for your comments. I agree that this is not a job for the faint of heart. It was/is a scary proposition: as you said most of us only get one chance to get it right. And getting it wrong could be super messy, expensive, and time consuming.

In terms of the "knowing what you know now question" I would absolutely do it again. As with skoolie building, we all know it only one build to become a skoolie building expert... In fact hopefully I will get to do it again this weekend when my 200bf kit shows up. I also plan to do some "strategic foaming" under the bus at some future date.

In my opinion, the actual application of the foam is not much more technically difficult than spray painting something; it's that the stakes are much higher. Multiple light coats with the fan nozzle really were pretty easy.

As for "extra trimming" I guarantee I will have less trimming to do than my friend Justin had to do after his "professional application":


And definitely less trimming than the DIY application by Skoolie Foolies:
I watched the top video and it looked to me like he buried the romex in spray foam. Thatís not a good idea since it will cause the wires to hold heat which could cause problems later and isnít code. Also a big bundle of romex is not to code for the same reason though Iíve seen inspectors pass a big bundle of home runs like that. Also itís impossible to pull it out later or add wire for changes. Itís much better to run conduit because it can be buried in foam and wiring inside can be modified later if necessary
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:28 AM   #9
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Thanks for the response. Really appreciate your perspective! Still going to farm this one out - you've got more guts than I do. I sure hope our 'professional' is a bit more professional than the one in the first vid above!
As you saw, Justin was so disappointed with the quality of work, but he is a resourceful and hard working guy, and powered thru it.

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Well done sir. I was just researching the froth packs and am glad that you tried them out. I think I will be doing the spray foam myself as well. Did you have any pockets that you filled? If so did the foam distort the metal at all?
Other than the nose of the bus there were no real pockets that I filled. In any event, based on my limited experience and research I would suggest filling cavities in a couple of passes, rather than filling all at once. This foam doesn't seem to expand with the force or volume of a Great Stuff type of aerosol can.

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I watched the top video and it looked to me like he buried the romex in spray foam. Thatís not a good idea since it will cause the wires to hold heat which could cause problems later and isnít code. Also a big bundle of romex is not to code for the same reason though Iíve seen inspectors pass a big bundle of home runs like that. Also itís impossible to pull it out later or add wire for changes. Itís much better to run conduit because it can be buried in foam and wiring inside can be modified later if necessary
Yeah, I share your concerns about him burying wires in the foam. "...not to code..." Funny guy. A skoolie not built to code; say it isn't so...?
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:03 PM   #10
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The 200bf kit came today. I was going to wait until this weekend to do the job, but I came home from work early and conditions were good, so I went ahead and applied the foam.

This application was drama-free and provided almost all of the additional coverage I was looking for. I will say that this bus took way more spray foam than I anticipated. I used a total of 820bf of foam (~$1,000 worth) and although I am satisfied with the coverage, I probably could have used an additional 50 to 100bf ( I put a lot of foam in the nose).

I sampled a few potential trimming tools (implements of destruction), and was very satisfied with a certain serrated bread knife that found its way into my tool box some years ago. So I ended up doing a bit of initial trimming as well, maybe 20 minutes worth. I am looking forward to getting it all trimmed up and moving on...


I also trimmed the excess foam from the light holes and put a quick coat of paint on it for a bit of temporary weather protection. I hope to fiberglass/bondo the holes before it gets too cold. My goal is to make it look like there were never any holes there.
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Old 09-06-2019, 02:19 AM   #11
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As you saw, Justin was so disappointed with the quality of work, but he is a resourceful and hard working guy, and powered thru it.

Other than the nose of the bus there were no real pockets that I filled. In any event, based on my limited experience and research I would suggest filling cavities in a couple of passes, rather than filling all at once. This foam doesn't seem to expand with the force or volume of a Great Stuff type of aerosol can.

Yeah, I share your concerns about him burying wires in the foam. "...not to code..." Funny guy. A skoolie not built to code; say it isn't so...?
People do electrical and plumbing stuff not to code all the time. Hopefully itís never a problem.

It seems fairly common that people foam romex into the walls. I thought it was worth pointing that out to others who come across that video from here. You could find yourself tripping breakers and you donít know why.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:14 AM   #12
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People do electrical and plumbing stuff not to code all the time.
Again, say it isn't so...
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:51 AM   #13
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Again, say it isn't so...
Sounds like some great pride in workmanship
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Old 09-06-2019, 11:06 AM   #14
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It seems fairly common that people foam romex into the walls. I thought it was worth pointing that out to others who come across that video from here. You could find yourself tripping breakers and you donít know why.

If it does cause a problem, I'd think the consequences wouldn't be breakers tripping, but rather wires overheating, insulation burning, and possibly fires starting.
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:57 PM   #15
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Sounds like some great pride in workmanship
What is that supposed to mean...?

My "say it isn't so" comments (with a smiley face) were a reference to the "wide variation" in the way folks build skoolies (I've seen solar panels "secured" with bungy cords, sketchy roof raises, etc.). In terms of my build, if you query my work here I believe you will find that I always endeavor to seek out and use best practices when it comes to building Comfort Eagle...

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If it does cause a problem, I'd think the consequences wouldn't be breakers tripping, but rather wires overheating, insulation burning, and possibly fires starting.
So... for the record, I did not foam in any wires.

However, all this chatter did prompt me to do a bit of research into the issue. The "trade" forums I sampled mostly point back to the below linked document and agree that in reality it is a non-issue (yes, it refers to NM-B, not Romex...).

Thermal Effects of Residential-Installed Type NM-B Cable Encased in Spray-Foam Insulation

Now, could we please just get back to admiring the awesome foam application done by the OP?
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Old 09-06-2019, 01:11 PM   #16
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It seems fairly common that people foam romex into the walls. I thought it was worth pointing that out to others who come across that video from here. You could find yourself tripping breakers and you donít know why.
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If it does cause a problem, I'd think the consequences wouldn't be breakers tripping, but rather wires overheating, insulation burning, and possibly fires starting.
HubbardBus is correct: a circuit breaker, which senses current and nothing else, cannot detect the operating temperature of a wire. AFCI and GFCI circuit breakers sense arc and ground faults too but still can't sense the temperature of the wires.

There's no inherent NEC code violation with having NM-B "Romex" embedded in spray foam - its insulating properties aren't so different from other insulation types which routinely encase NM-B. It may be necessary to use some derating factors if several NM-B are bundled with no spacing, however.

See a summary at Electrical Construction & Maintenance magazine or an original bulletin from NEMA for additional information.
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Old 09-06-2019, 01:19 PM   #17
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If it does cause a problem, I'd think the consequences wouldn't be breakers tripping, but rather wires overheating, insulation burning, and possibly fires starting.
Isn't the purpose of the breaker to avoid just such issues?
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Old 09-06-2019, 01:55 PM   #18
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Since I don’t have a sharpie I want to say I stand corrected. There is no code against it. I still wouldn’t do it.

Apologies for remarks that may have not been civil.

And yes, the foam work does look good.
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Old 09-07-2019, 03:59 AM   #19
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The foam blobs extruded from the overhead exterior lights do look much better now. I am sure they will have bo sign of ever being there by the tie you are done with them!
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Old 09-07-2019, 06:05 AM   #20
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Isn't the purpose of the breaker to avoid just such issues?
FW's explanation sounds pretty solid to me:
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Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
...a circuit breaker, which senses current and nothing else, cannot detect the operating temperature of a wire. AFCI and GFCI circuit breakers sense arc and ground faults too but still can't sense the temperature of the wires.
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...Apologies for remarks that may have not been civil...And yes, the foam work does look good.
No hard feelings; conversations via text can lose context (with no tone of voice, facial expressions, body language, etc.). And I know I can get a bit defensive sometimes.

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The foam blobs extruded from the overhead exterior lights do look much better now. I am sure they will have no sign of ever being there by the tie you are done with them!
Yes, the "blob-ectomy" was a success, and the patient is resting comfortably.
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